SSVS Research Newsletter
Winter Edition 2017
This will be the last newsletter from the SSVS ADR, and the first from our new Associate Head Research, Congratulations to Jacqui Norris! I am sure you will do an amazing job.

I am sure most of you have hears that Professor Margaret Barbour has been appointed Associate Dean (Research) from July 1st. Margaret has been the ADR from the Faculty of Agriculture and the Environment and is even based at Camden in the CCWF for those of you that want to go and say hello. If you would like a more formal introduction to her I would be happy to arrange that for you.

The University is running late with many of its fellowships for the year, but all will still be offered. So you can expect to see the following schemes opening soon:

Robinson Fellowships These are aimed at transitioning great postdoctoral researchers (eg DECRAs) into traditional academic teaching and research roles.

SOARs will be offered again this year, to provide teaching relief and financial support for outstanding early career researchers

University postdoctoral fellowships will be available as per usual. There was some interest in possibly combining these with Robinson Fellowships but this discussion has been delayed and they will go ahead as previously

Equity Fellowships have just opened for applications. The closing date is August 14th.

There is a push from the research portfolio to develop aspirational goals for all academics to work towards. Professor Margaret Barbour is working very hard to develop faculty-specific aspirational benchmarks that are fair and encompass the huge diversity of research performed here. They are intended to form a holistic view of what research is and their purpose is to encourage the type of research culture the DVCR and other leaders want in the university. There will soon be a pilot roll out of the process so please engage if you are asked to be involved.

The Sydney Planetary Health Initiative will likely be launched in December. This is an exciting new program aimed at improving the future health of the planet, and those of us that reside on it.

A mentoring workshop open to all Level A – Cs was recently organised by Jacquie Matthews & Marie last week. There were 3 or 4 presentations by successful researchers, discussing the role mentoring played in their success, what it takes to get the most out of a mentor, and the traits that make a mentor helpful. There is likely to be a formal mentoring program initiated in the future. Good mentoring is one of the single biggest contributors to success so I would encourage anyone who is interested to sign up. Consider the time you spend in these activities as an investment into your future!

While we were not able to fund everyone to the extent they asked for, we recently awarded over $248,664 in bequest funding! The quality of applications was once again very high and this is a testament to the amazing researchers and your brilliant ideas.

Thank you so much for your support over the past 18 months. It’s been a blast!

All the best

A big thank you goes to Natasha Hamilton who has done an amazing job as Associate Dean of Research for our Faculty and now school. A big thank you also to Marie Wildridge for the wonderful job she has done as in supporting this role and we wish her well in her new role in Faculty of Science (Research Data and Analytics Coordinator). I would like extend a big welcome Kim Heasman as our new (Research Administration Officer ) who will take the reins from Marie over these new couple of weeks.

A reminder to everyone that we have some great incentives available for the purchase of small equipment, travel grants and start-up funds available.  EOI applications are due COB (ie 5pm) Friday 22nd July, 2017 via the Vetsci ADR email.

Who has been creating news
ABC (Rural Report, South Australia Country Hour, Tasmanian Country Hour, Victoria Country Hour, Online) interviewed Ashleigh Wildridge from the School of Veterinary Science about her research into the impact of robotic milking machines on cows.

Dr Sabrina Lomax from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences was interviewed by ABC Radio (Eyre Peninsula and West Coast, Riverland SA, South East SA) about the future of fenceless herd management technology.

The Cessnock Advertiser published an article about Professor Paul McGreevy from the School of Veterinary Science receiving a lifetime achievement award at the International Canine Health Awards.

Dr Cameron Whittaker from the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital was interviewed by National Geographic about performing eye surgery on a Bengal tiger to remove cataracts.

Dr Anne Fawcett wrote an article for Mosman Daily warning about the dangers of pet accessories. The story was syndicated throughout local papers.

Vet Practice magazine interviewed Associate Professor Robyn Alders from the School of Veterinary Science about nutrition and food security.

Dr Carolyn Hogg from Research & Innovation was interviewed by ABC News, the Canberra Times and the Hobart Mercury about new research that she co-authored, which shows Tasmanian Devils raised in captivity for multiple generations are less likely to survive in the wild

Dr Anne Fawcett from the School of Veterinary Science wrote an article for the Daily Telegraph about cat obesity

The Sunday Telegraph and mentioned research being conducted by veterinarians at the University of Sydney into the health of koalas.

Rouse Hill Times, Parramatta Advertiser, and Fairfield Advance published a piece on overweight cats by Dr Anne Fawcett, a Lecturer from the Department of Veterinary Science.

Dr Anne Fawcett from the School of Veterinary Science wrote an article about companion animal obesity for Manly Daily.

The Sunday Tasmanian and The Mercury quoted Dr Carolyn Hogg, Research Manager for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), in an article about the imminent release of Tasmanian Devils bred on Maria Island into the wild. 

The Sunday Age and Sunday Canberra Times quoted Professor Paul McGreevy from the School of Veterinary Science about canine happiness.

The Mirror (UK) and Irish Mirror (UK) reported the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital is treating a Sumatran tiger to remove eye cataracts.

The Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, Gold Coast Bulletin, Herald Sun and syndicated articles in regional newspapers reported a team at the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital removed a cataract from a Bengal Tiger name Indira.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Land reported a team of Australian scientists have won a global competition for their work decoding the DNA of a purebred desert dingo to test one of Charles Darwin’s hypotheses. Professor Claire Wade from the School of Veterinary Science co-led the study.

Macarthur Chronicle published an article by Dr Anne Fawcett from the School of Veterinary Science about Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, dementia-like symptons experienced by some companion animals as they age.

 Associate Professor David Phalen from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences spoke to ABC Radio (Hobart, Northern Tasmania) about an ineffective disinfectant, which led to a disease outbreak endangering orange-bellied parrots.

Stock and Land and The Land reported a University of Sydney research team developed a footrot vaccination, which is now commercially available.

Associate Professor David Phalen from the School of Veterinary Science spoke to ABC Radio Hobart and ABC News Online about an ineffective disinfectant, which led to a disease outbreak endangering orange-bellied parrots.

Professor Richard Whittington from the School of Veterinary Sciences spoke to ABC (Central West NSW, South East NSW, Eyre Peninsula and West Coast, Gippsland, Illawarra), North West Magazine and other newspapers about his research team who developed a footrot vaccination, which is now commercially available.

Daily Express (UK) quoted Dr Richard Malik from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about breeding Scottish Fold cats.

University of Sydney researchers have developed a specific footrot vaccination that can be accessed by Australian sheep producers, reported 2NM Muswellbrook and ABC Online.

Gizmodo mentioned Professor Claire Wade from the School of Veterinary Science is part of a research team investigating the genetic sequencing of dingos.

The Adelaide Advertiser reported on a world-first study by the University of Sydney and the University of Alaska Southeast that trialled a custom-made non-invasive camera to capture the social behaviours of dolphins. Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Dr Peter Jones from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering were quoted.

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Current Research Opportunities Closing Soon
Opportunities closing soon
Meat and Livestock Australia invites applications from individuals, organisations or project teams with the expertise required to undertake one or more of the following projects:
The Morris Animal Foundation invites applications for its large companion animal health and welfare grants. These support research conducted on topics relevant to large companion animal health and welfare. Large companion animals include horses, llamas and alpacas. Applications must be submitted by 12 July 2017.

Early-career fellowships for researchers in India, Wellcome Trust GB and the Indian Department of Biotechnology invite applications for their early-career fellowships. These enable newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to carry out biomedical research relevant to human and animal welfare in laboratories in India. Applications must be submitted by 13 July 2017.

The Waterbird Society invites applicants for the Nisbet research award. This supports research and conservation of water birds with preference given to work focused on gulls or terns. Applications must be submitted by 15 July 2017.

Lush invites nominations for its science prize. This recognises work conducted on relevant toxicity pathways in order to replace animal testing. Research producing an effective non-animal safety test based on an approach other than toxicity pathways, where none existed before, may also be considered. Applications must be submitted by 24 July 2017.

The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare invites applications for its replacement, refinement and reduction award. This supports innovative research or other proposals which will advance the replacement, refinement or reduction of the use of animals in scientific research or testing. Applications must be submitted by 24 July 2017.

John Holliday Student Conservation Award, The award is open to post-graduate students who were enrolled at an Australian University during the year of Award and who undertook fisheries-orientated research work in NSW. To be considered, the applicant must have completed, or be completing, research/studies relevant to the Award Program (see below) and administered through an Australian University. Applications for the 2017 Award must be submitted by 30 July 2017.

The McGarvie Smith Institute invites applications for its project grants. These support projects involving veterinary and related sciences, the outcomes of which are of demonstrable benefit to the livestock production industries of New South Wales. Applications must be submitted by 31 July 2017.

Equity Trustsees, on behalf of a partnership between the Ecological Society of Australia and the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, invites applications for its postgraduate research grants. These enable postgraduate students to conduct research on ecology, wildlife management or natural history. Applications must be submitted by 31 July 2017.

The Club 300 Foundation for Bird Protection invites applications for its project grants. These support conservation and research projects related to bird protection. The focus is on projects related to highly threatened or poorly known species. Applications must be submitted by 31 July 2017.

The International Society for Equitation Science invites applications for its student research grants. These enable students to undertake supervised research projects in the field of equitation science. Applications must be submitted by 31 July 2017.

The Nutrition Society of Australia invites applications for its mid-career research award. This recognises mid-career members with a track record in any area of nutrition. Applications must be submitted by 31 July 2017.
The University of Sydney Equity Fellowships, which will open for applications tomorrow, 4 July.  Applications close on Monday 14 August.
  • Brown Fellowships:  aim to assist researchers re-establish or enhance their academic research careers after interruption and/or disruption from sustained primary caring duties.
  • Laffan Fellowships:  aim to assist researchers who have, or have experienced, a significant disability to re-establish or enhance their academic research careers.

  • Thompson Fellowships:  aim to address the under-representation of women in senior academic positions and provide opportunities for women academics at levels C or D to develop and strengthen their research, preparing them to apply for and assume roles at levels D or E in the near future.
Here is another upcoming funding opportunity for UC Davis-UofSyd teams interested in MURI and AUSMURI funding.
US-Australia International Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (AUSMURI)
The Australian Department of Defence (Defence) and DoD have agreed to encourage Australian higher education providers (universities) to participate in MURI on topics determined by Defence as having high potential for significant future Defence capability (designated topics).

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Workshops/ Webinars etc
Workshops -Camden

Have you ever looked at a figure in a journal article and thought "What on earth does that even mean?"... We certainly have! This session on data visualisation will get back to basics and give you some best practice advice so that you can create visualisations with your research data that communicate your point and are easily understood by everyone.

  • Know the principles of data visualisation
  • Understand different purposes of and audiences for data visualisations
  • Recognise the relationship between visualisation type and underlying data type or structure
  • Understand the strengths and limitations of different media for visualising data
  • Gain knowledge of the tools and resources available to support visualisation activities
Tuesday 11 July Camden Commons
Workshop offered by the Learning Centre focused on writing a thesis including publication (TIP) to be held at Camden commons.
This webinar is tailored for HDR students (masters by research, doctorates), feel free to forward this invitation to any student who might benefit.
All you need to do is to reply to this email to register with your full name or send any questions you have to your PLAs Ashleigh and Audrey on

Date and time: Wednesday 12th July from 10am to 1pm

Location: Camden Commons (former library), 335 Werombi Road, Brownlow Hill

What to bring: something to take notes, any questions you may have about TIPs!

Audience: HDR students only

Workshops - Camperdown
Introduction to the media training session

Marketing and Communications invites all academic staff to a special session introducing how best to work with the media. This session will offer guidelines on how to lift your media profile through publicising research, offering expert commentary and writing opinion pieces. It will also give you a better idea of how the Media and PR team can help you attract media publicity for your research and expertise. Although tailored for early career researchers and PhD students with no media experience, the session is open to all academic staff.
Tuesday 18 July, 10–11am, Lecture theatre 104, New Law School

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Achievement Awards
Paul McGreevy  Lifetime Achievement Award for International Canine Health from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Robyn Alders awarded the Mitchell Humanitarian Award at the Australian National University for her research into vaccinating chickens.

Jacqui Norris Thompson Fellowship

Katrina Bosward  Barry Marmion Award, presented at the "Australasian Society for Infectious Disease" annual conference.

Jacqui Norris Barry Marmion Award, presented at the "Australasian Society for Infectious Disease" annual conference.

Grant Success
Dr Catherine Grueber  and Prof Katherine Belov;  ARC Discovery Project:-This project aims to determine how evolutionary processes affect the successful release of captive animals.

Peter Bennett
and his team who were success with their grant application to:-  Canine Research Foundation for the project entitled “A safety trial of next generation cancer vaccinesand targeted IL-15 plasmid therapy”
Julia Beatty, Mahdis Aghazadeh and Vanessa Barrs who were success with their grant application to: Winn Feline Foundation on their project:-  Towards cancer prevention in cats: Felis catus gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1) gene expression analysis in feline lymphoma.
HDR Success
Congratulations to SSVS PhD student – Kelly Simpson – for making it into the semi-finals for FameLab!  Kelly will be giving a 3 minute presentation (“Becoming a disease detective”) on her research on tracking down the source of environmental Salmonella in humans.
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